Thursday, July 8, 2010

a blogging first...

my dear friend Susan, of Musings of a Discerning Woman fame, just nominated me for a Blog with Substance Award!(also, visit Susan's blog. She's one of the raddest folks ever and her postings on her order, Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, are a glimpse into a pretty amazing group of women!)

Anyhoo, apparently I've been asked to sum up my blogging philosophy in five words. which is easy, since i'm pretty sure i don't have one. but if i did, it would probably be: "words about God, life, & self-doubt"

also, i am also going to link to blogs which i feel are substantial, so here goes:

my dear friend amy has a rad blog and can be found at Amy the Show. Check it out if you are interested in well-written reflections on Catholic Workers, God, and other interesting things.

Our Kairos Chicago community is full of amazing people and I feel like everyone should get to know them! Find them at A Fire That Lights Other Fires

Have I told you I have an amazing sister, whose writing will make you both laugh and cry, often simultaneously? Well, I do, and she can be found blogging at both This Is My Catholicism AND The Jesus Plays

Lastly, Sign on the Window is the blog of Melissa, who is connected to the L'Arche Nehalem community in Portland. Her reflections on church, folks with developmental disabilities, and parenting always give me a lot of food for thought.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"america never was america to me"

aware of the immense privileges granted to me just by virtue of being born in these borders, and not others, and with this skin, and not another, i can no longer really "celebrate" this nation. what i can do is celebrate the brave people in, committed to making it better and more inclusive. and i can thank God for poets like Langston Hughes who have called out the lie that America is a great nation for all...

Let America Be America Again
-by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!